Graham Mitchell was the guest bassist with the Takács Quartet this evening, for a performance of the Dvořák String Quintet. I much enjoyed it! Not a work I remember ever hearing before, it took away the slight feeling I had after Rusalka, that Dvořák could be a bit of a bore.
Mind you, it was helped along greatly for me by having a seat close enough to be able to watch the eye contact between the players: a performance like this doesn't happen by accident, you realise.
Before the interval they had played Janáček's first quartet, which Edward Dusinberre introduced for us: as introductions go, it was a model, and it was lovely to hear the great man's speaking voice, as opposed to the voice of his violin. But what he said took away from, rather than added to the enjoyment of this wonderful piece, I found.
What made me happiest all evening was the sublime Andante of Mozart's E flat quartet, K 428, a perfect illustration of that unique Takács sound. Aren't we lucky to have had them in our midst so regularly these past three decades!